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Kent bucks the trend in providing care and choice for terminally ill children

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ellenor Hospice

KENT charity ellenor, which provides vital hospice care to children in their own homes, has responded to national news reports that ‘terminally ill children are let down by poor end of life care’.

According to a recent survey by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) into Children’s and Young People’s Palliative Care, children in the UK are not always given the choice to die at home as there are not enough trained community children’s nurses to provide 24/7 care.

But Rebecca Scalzo, Head of Children’s Hospice Care for ellenor, assures that this is not the case for seriously ill children living in North and West Kent and the London Borough of Bexley.

Rebecca says: “This recent survey is very concerning, and it’s sad to know thousands of children are being let down by poor care at the end of life. As the UK’s first children’s full hospice at home service, and still one of only a very few services
providing oncology and end of life care to very sick children, we know how vital this care and support is.”

Every year ellenor cares for over 150 seriously ill babies, children and young people and their families across Bexley, Dartford, Gravesend, Swanley, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Sevenoaks and surrounding villages.

Is the only charitable service in the county to provide end-of-life, cancer and respite care to children in the comfort of their own home and consistency of support for teenagers who later require care as adults.

Rebecca added: “Instead of the child coming to the hospice, the hospice comes to them, allowing the family to stay together. We provide care seven days a week with a 24 hour on call service staffed by Specialist Nurses and Doctors, with access to other staff to visit and provide care as required.

“I’m proud that families living in the areas covered by our care, do have choice, and the care and support should they need it. However, we are totally reliant on the generosity of the local community to be able to provide all our services. Without
donations we would not be able to reach out to anyone in need, and as a result I fear the picture locally would be much more like that described in this survey.” “ellenor welcomes the RCN’s call for more resources and training in this area so that children across the UK with life-limiting conditions and their families can access the same care that we provide here in Kent.”

ellenor must raise over £6.7million every year to be able to provide its world-leading care. To find out how you can support ellenor, please visit www.ellenor.org or call the Fundraising team on 01322 626504. Keep ellenor in your timeline on Facebook/ellenorcharity and twitter @ellenorcharity For patient help and information, please call 01474 32007.

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